Regular writer Sean Walsh looks at the fact that if Boris Johnson submits his “reheated May treaty” to the Commons then it’ll recieve the Wetherspoons treatment.

In my local Wetherspoons, there is a dance that takes place between customer and bar staff. It happens every morning. A customer will order breakfast off the menu and then immediately amend it: instead of the beans could they have an extra egg? Can they swap the sausage for an extra rasher of bacon? It’s not unknown for them to order the full English at 9.05 only to have amended it into a vegan sausage sandwich by 9.10. Both of them turn out to cost £39 billion.

If Boris Johnson is foolish enough to submit his reheated May treaty to Commons’ scrutiny, then he will find it’s given the Wetherspoons treatment. Bit by bit, amendment by amendment, it will be transformed into something unrecognisable. It makes no difference that Mr Bercow will ( I assume this at time of writing) have vacated his booster seat on October 31st. His impressive-in-their-way acts of constitutional vandalism will continue to provide the context for the Remain vanguard to press home its advantage.

In a way, I’ll miss Bercow: the screw top politician who convinced himself he was the full Chateau Laffite. I hope in his eagerly awaited (by the rest of us) retirement he devotes himself to a study of Roger Scruton’s Fools, Frauds and Firebrands. In which our most celebrated living philosopher (whom Bercow allowed to be vilified on his watch) draws a conceptual distinction between intellectual content and prolix obfuscation. I wish Mr Bercow every happiness and future anonymity. And if he could desist from parking without permission in the customer bays of my mother’s shop in Princes Risborough, he will earn her grudging gratitude.

Where was I?

Mr Johnson’s Treaty differs from Theresa May’s abomination how exactly? For the last year, we have had an Establishment sleight of hand. The “backstop” was built into her “deal” as the patsy protocol, the bit that could be sacrificed. As and when necessary to get the rest of it through. The cleverness of the EU nomenklatura is embedded deep in the clauses of the rest of the text and hides, anyway, in plain sight in the direction of travel as set out in the Political Declaration: a future “partnership” based on minimal customs and regulatory divergence. The Johnson and May treaties are different descriptions of the same tunnel: when we eventually get off the train, we will find ourselves on the same platform we left many years previously.

It was a grotesque impertinence of the EU to continue to insist that its “agreement” was the way forward when nobody of democratic significance had signed it, and when its Treaty partner had rejected it three times. Under Article 50 protocols, the EU had an obligation to seek something else, and Johnson had a duty to insist that they did. Why didn’t he? Why discredit the negotiating assumptions of your predecessor only to operate based on them when you snatch the crown?

The Prime Minister finds himself trapped. But he’s helped build that cage. When he calls the Benn Act the Surrender Act he’s correct: Johnson surrendered that Bill when he refused to use his available mechanisms of legitimate frustration and let it go unhindered through the Lords. He is where he is because this is where his choices have led him. And that capitulation was so egregious, and so foreseeable in its consequences, that it’s tempting to think he is part of the whole Establishment dance.

Make no mistake: there will not be a three-month extension because we are already at the fag end of a seven-month extension. It’s my understanding that when you extend a £100 overdraft by £50, your bank takes the view that your extension is not £50 but £150. I’ve had threatening letters on that basis…many of them have even been signed.

But there will be a three-month fix so that the Wetherspoon customer gets a proper chance to amend the original order.

Johnson, to show good faith, must secure a dissolution of this profoundly corrupt House of Commons. And this lot, Mr Johnson, will not give you your 12th December dissolution under the rubric of the Fixed Terms Parliament Act.

So here’s what to do: call a specific vote of confidence in your government. See what Corbyn does. Even this terminally bewildered Opposition Leader might not have to dig too deep before accepting that he has faith in a government he is committed to replacing on the basis that he isn’t quite ready yet.

It would be bizarre were Johnson to do this. But “bizarre” is the new normal. The other morning Ken Clarke was insisting that MPs needed more time to scrutinise legislation which has, in most part, been available for scrutiny for over a year. This is the same Ken Clarke who, as Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time the Maastricht Treaty was before Parliament, boasted that he hadn’t read it.

Strange times indeed.

And Mr Bercow: if you happen to park your BMW there again, it might well be that it ends up being indelibly spray-painted with a legitimate “B@ll@x to Bercow” form of protest.

Just sayin’.

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